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SXSW – South by Southwest


March 7, 2023 – 3:01 in the afternoon

Credit: Thais Monteiro

Over the years, the conference on enterprises influenced by innovation has become prominent on the festival agenda, especially outside the United States, and even more so for Brazilians. It is a turning point for our community in terms of trends and ways of thinking about the future.

Amidst the preparations for the agenda, amplified by the buzz in WhatsApp groups, we can see everyone’s concern about whether they will be able to listen, think and share more information about the ever-closer future. There are those who are even already using generative artificial intelligence, the technology of the moment, for their agenda and even to write the texts that have inhabited these pages besides this one, which I guarantee is written by my own hands and expresses my real thoughts.

For me, the opportunity we have to discuss the future lies in the richness of adding something to it and giving plurality to the topic. It’s the ability to design different scenarios, and SXSW has that ability to inspire us and take us out of our comfort zone. Wealth is in the S of the future.

Especially when we talk about emerging technologies, those futures have always been utopian or even dystopian, and a lot of what was preached as a trend has been lost over time, but what we’ve seen in accelerating things is that the discussion about the future has been so relevant that it approaches a simple rethinking of the present.

Committing to the content of events is like anticipating those events, often causing unnecessary anxiety, the famous Austin FOMO, as if we do not become specialists in the proposed topics that make us a subspecies that will have to fight for its survival without the necessary weapons. The fact is that things are moving so fast that a festival that was designed for a more human discussion, with spiritual wisdom as the keynote, giving weight to psychedelia as a big driver of new business and a still-latent concern for mental health and wellness, needed to make space for the CEO of OpenAi in response to the tech boom in recent months.

Artificial intelligence will not have a special track, but it will be present in a large part of the content, not only for the technology itself, but also for its applications and impacts. And for those who are betting that this is just hype like the metaverse was in the last edition, they can be twice wrong. Firstly, that artificial intelligence is not something new, its exponential massification is what stands out lately, promoting its indiscriminate use, and secondly, that the schedule of events shows that after natural browsing we will see and discuss the practical and evolutionary actions of the metaverse, now how the new digital landscape, alongside other immersive technologies and topics such as digital identity.

We usually think about the future in a linear, predictable way, but SXSW invites us to subvert this thinking and think about the future, with, and in a desirable way, closer and closer to it, as in casting backwards, where after this definition of the future we want to be able to identify policies and programs that will increasingly connect that future with the present.

I will be in Austin, leading the mission of the Institute for the Future in partnership with Abedesign, which brings together more than 40 high-level experts, promoting inspiring conversations, expanding repertoire, filling gaps in perception, but above all, democratizing the privilege to be active in this construction scenario.

Designing the future is an inclusive challenge, for many, and we want everyone together in this mission, because I’m sure it can be amazing, and it depends only on us and the ability to live that future today, so I invite you to be with me and all to Meio & Mensagem collaborators on this incredible journey into the future of drawing at SXSW.

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